B”DE: Petirah Of Rav Zachariah Gelley, Rov Of KAJ In Washington Heights


YWN regrets to inform you of the Petira of Harav Rav Zachariah Gelley ZATZAL, the Rov of Khal Adath Jeshurun (KAJ) in Washington Heights.

Rav Gelly has lead the KAJ community since the Petira of HaRav Shimon Schwab approximately 25 years ago.

Descending from the famed Kehilla of the world-famous scholar and Torah personality Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch of Frankfurt, Germany, KAJ follows in the tradition of Rav Hirsch’s philosophy of “Torah im Derech Eretz”.

KAJ has been under the leadership of HaRav Yisroel Mantel since HaRav Gelly turned ill a number of years ago.

Rav Gelly was Niftar in Lakewood, where he was living for the past few years as he battled Parkinson’s.

The Levaya will be at 10:00AM on Friday in KAJ Washington Heights. The Kevura will be at King Solomon Cemetery, Clifton, NJ about 12:00 Noon.

Boruch Dayan Ha’Emmes…


  1. A profound loss not just @KAJ or Sunderland, nor just for his Rebbetzen & 10 children, but for Kelal Yisroel at large. No-one can fathom all that the late Rav Gelley Epitomized.

  2. I had the zechus to learn with him for 2 years and I’d like to tell over a few stories. Prior to becoming a Rov in Washington Heights he was a Rosh Kollel in England for many years. Even though he was a Rov his love of learning baiyun was tremendous.

    One morning when we learned the sugya in chullin of chozer vneiur we had a very shver rosh on the sugya. He came in the next day exhausted and said he could not sleep that night since the Rosh kept him up all night. He also delivered a real baiyun shiur to his bala batim every Sunday befitting of a Rosh Yeshiva.

    Another story comes to mind is many years back in the NYC blackout in middle of the summer. There were no lights or air conditioning and I called his house to check if he wants to learn due to the extreme heat and lack of light. I said I was still a bochur so I’ll come. I got the message back from his rebbetzin that he was still a bochur too.

    He also had a very good sense of humor. He used to give a tremendously complicated Shabbos Hagadol drasha. I prepared it with him for 2 weeks and I was getting lost on the final pshat. I asked him none of your balabatim will understand it how can you say it. I remember him saying it’s a good thing to show them that they have a lot to learn.

    I will miss him dearly as someone who created a yeshiva for me even after I left yeshiva in just the few hours we learned.

    May his neshomo have an Aliya.

  3. z1234 What a זכות you had learning with מו”ר הרה”ג רב זכריה זצ”ל. He was my rebbe for some 6 years and I had a lot of שייכות with him afterwards too. I’ll miss him. Just one correction. He was a Rosh Yeshiva, not a Rosh Hakollel.